New details of Texas’ tallest tower revealed

The Waterline is expected to top out in 2025 with two floors of retail and 352 luxury apartments

A photo illustration of the Waterline (Getty Images, LinkedIn)
A photo illustration of the Waterline (Getty Images, LinkedIn)

The developers of Texas’ tallest tower — that giant skyscraper going up in downtown Austin — have revealed new details about the mammoth project.

First off, it has an official name now: the Waterline — likely a nod to its location near the Colorado River. The development team also released a long list of additional details about the project, the Austin Business Journal reported.

Though they declined to provide an estimated price for the tower, an August 2021 filing with the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation listed an estimated cost of $520 million. Blackstone Mortgage Trust provided the construction loan for the project.

Located near the Rainey Street district, the structure at 98 Red River Street will tower 1,022 feet, or 74 floors, above a 3.3-acre lot. For reference, it will be more than twice as tall as the 33-floor Frost Bank Tower — the current tallest building in Austin. Construction began on June 13 but isn’t expected to finish until August 2025.

Read more

Co-developers Dallas-based Lincoln Property Company and San Antonio-based Kairoi Residential say they have plans for two floors of retail and restaurant space. While they don’t have any tenants signed on yet, the 24,000-square-foot mini mall will be open to the public.

Sign Up for the undefined Newsletter

Back in June, the project landed New York-based 1 Hotels as its premiere tenant. However, the hotel is only taking up 13 floors for its 251-key luxury hotel — complete with ballroom, meeting spaces and a rooftop pool.

Next up is the 700,000 square feet of office space. Floors 16 through 42 of the Waterline will be home to the second-largest office tower in downtown Austin, just behind the 730,000-square-foot Indeed Tower. With the Texas capital’s fast-growing tech sector and corporate presence, Seth Johnston, a senior VP with Lincoln, wants the space to be a place where “big corporations and tech companies intermingle every day.”

“In Austin, Texas, you don’t go only corporate or only tech,” he said.

Finally, the top 33 floors of the tower will be occupied by 352 luxury apartments. Johnston says Lincoln sees a promising demand for more high-end rentals downtown.

As for parking, there will be three floors of underground parking exclusively for the residents and hotel guests, with separate above-ground parking for the office workers. But don’t worry, the developers know above-ground parking lots are an ugly faux-pas when it comes to downtown urban developments.

“We kind of wrapped our parking garage with the hotel,” Johnston said. “The hotel rooms are tacked onto the side of the parking garage. That accomplishes a bunch of goals, one of them being you don’t have to stare at a parking garage from the creekside.”

— Maddy Sperling